‘There are a very few pictures of her on the internet and she’s actually more pale and wan.

whos dating will smith-1

But it was more the act of writing that I was interested in, I wasn’t trying to govern it at all.’ So what was it like playing a gay man? ‘My rule was always, nothing was ever gratuitous in it,’ he says.

‘You do see the two men clearly having penetrative sex, you see them going at each other, there’s no question about that, but I didn’t want it to be salacious.

‘Isherwood went to Berlin primarily because he wanted to have a freer life and because homosexuality was illegal here at that time.

Over there, until the Nazis took over, it was a much more liberal city. Anyway, I’m the wrong man to ask about the glitz and glamour of the celebrity lifestyle, I just work, I just go to film sets, I’m the most boring person, never been to a premiere, probably never will.’ ‘Thirties Berlin was so extreme, and, of course, you’ve got this looming presence of Nazism, suddenly they’re marching down streets and ransacking shops and you’re thinking, this can’t be happening, but it did.’ Perhaps the most famous depiction of the era, the 1972 film Cabaret, which is based on the stage adaptation of Isherwood’s Berlin novels, was also responsible for making Sally Bowles – as played by Liza Minelli – one of the 20th century’s iconic characters.

Smith had originally planned to be a professional footballer: he played for the youth teams of Northampton Town (where he grew up), Leicester City and Nottingham Forest as a teenager, before a serious back injury ended his career, and a drama teacher got him interested in acting.

It’s a vastly different background to that of Isherwood, who was gay, public-school educated, and left for the hedonistic atmosphere of Weimar era Berlin in his twenties to escape the repressiveness of English society between the wars, and a suffocating relationship with his mother (played in the drama by Lindsay Duncan).He’s very physically expressive, always playing, adopting different voices, sending himself up.Some of his answers later come out on tape like this: ‘Of course, the Doctor would never…A short story writer himself, he says he disciplined himself to write every day for the part, ‘just the process of writing and thinking like a writer. He hastily corrects this statement half way through – ‘well, it’s the girlfriends I’ve had in the past that have whinged about stubble…’ He’s not going to talk about his relationship with the model Daisy Lowe, which has come under such intense tabloid scrutiny. Hopefully, it’s a brave choice, I think creatively, that’s always interesting.’ ‘Matt’s very exciting to work with because he’s fearless,’ says the drama’s director Geoffrey Sax when I catch up with him by phone a few weeks later.Because I spent so much time with the book, I found myself phrasing things like Isherwood, the way he cuts his words, he’s such a lover of language. I finally understand why my good lady won’t kiss me with a stubbly beard… ‘I’d rather not unravel that bit of my private life, if it’s all the same to you,’ he says, politely, almost Isherwood-like. ‘It makes things like the sex scenes easier to do, if your leading man is saying, “Come on, let’s just go for it,” it breeds a confidence on the set.’ Sax also made the TV adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet, which caused something of a stir back in 2002 for its depiction of a lesbian love affair, but he says there was no conscious attempt to create risqué images for Christopher and His Kind.he’d be like doof, doof, doof,’ which don’t make quite as much sense without the accompanying movements.